Luke 23:34 — Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for His clothes (NLT).
Jesus obviously understood the power of forgiveness. After being accused by the priests and tortured by the soldiers, Jesus forgave them. A lot of what He let go was done in spite, but in the verse above, He even forgave them of what they had done in ignorance.
Not everyone who hurts us does so vindictively. There are probably people in your life right now who you hold a grudge against, and they are clueless. Meanwhile, they live their lives freely, and you’ve imprisoned yourself. When you choose to forgive, you’re not only releasing the offenses of others, you’re letting yourself out of captivity.
Another thing I noticed in this verse is that right after Jesus forgave them, the soldiers gambled for His clothes. What a slap in the face and another opportunity for Jesus to be offended! Not everyone is going to receive your forgiveness, but you are still to give it without expecting anything in return. Love simply does what is right, period. Choose to forgive today.
*Check out http://www.amazon.com/author/mikejonker for more info and resources.